tv The Profit CNBC October 20, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
lemonis: tonight on "the profit"... that was freakin' awesome. ...a baseball-novelty business based in coopersburg, pennsylvania, has struck out with their key major league baseball clients... you don't even know what you have in here. ...and the stubborn owner... it's toxic in here. ...who has a hard time letting go of the past. honestly, you can't be in this business anymore. scott: i've been doing this for 25 years. lemonis: if i can't change the focus of this all-american business... if you don't evolve, you will die. wendy: [ voice breaking ] you know, i worry about his sleepless nights, his stress. lemonis: ...then it may just be game over. scott: cowboy up. lemonis: my name is marcus lemonis, and i fix failing businesses. if you don't like money, don't follow my process. i make the tough decisions.
we're closing the store. we're done. i'm not talking about it anymore. i back them up, spending my own money. it's not always pretty... man: perfect flavor. lemonis: ...but this is business. you got to trust the process. i do it to save jobs, and i do it to make money. thanks for your business. this is "the profit." coopersburg, pennsylvania is about an hour north of philadelphia, in the heart of amish country. and it's home to coopersburg sports, a novelty-and-sports business. scott pino started the business in 1991... scott: i can't find the yankee order out here. lemonis: ...shortly after he secured the coveted license from major league baseball. he eventually was able to place his mini bat, his top seller, in every major league baseball park. business was great, and they were pulling in over $4 million a year and making a hefty buck.
but in 2008, a major sporting-good company entered the novelty game, and almost immediately, coopersburg's business was cut in half. today the company operates in a facility that's outdated, using a process that's pure chaos. scott: we're supposed to have 3,000, which is what the order's for. ben: whoever pulled it didn't put it on the inventory system. lemonis: while scott recently brought his kids, jackie... jackie: dad! lemonis: ...and ben to help run the company and bring in a fresh perspective... jackie: can we talk about sales goals? scott: [ sighs ] i got to get this done today. i mean, i don't have time. jackie: whatever. lemonis: ...scott is reluctant to let them make changes... ben: there's batteries that have been sitting there for five years. lemonis: ...and sales continue to slide. ben: what are we doing with those? jackie: we need to get our...together. lemonis: if i can get coopersburg sports on the right path, we will definitely knock it out of the park.
i wouldn't call coopersburg sports one of the more organized facilities i've ever seen. there are boxes stacked everywhere. there's a fair amount of manufacturing going on, but there's no flow, no process. quite frankly, there's no rhyme or reason to any of it. it's obvious to me there is no ventilation. how are you? scott: what's happening, buddy? how are you? scott. nice to meet you. lemonis: i'm marcus. nice to meet you. so, tell me a little bit about what you do here. scott: we produce all kinds of licensed products for major league baseball. baseball's probably the bulk of what we do. lemonis: how much total revenue were you doing? scott: our best year was about $4.38 million, and we're way down. -it's like $2.2 million. -lemonis: okay. scott: and that's been part of the problem -- a number of different things -- the economy, a major competitor who's really stolen a lot of our business. lemonis: who's the major competitor? scott: louisville slugger. it'd be like you selling rc cola going up against coca-cola. lemonis: right. show me the product that you're making. scott: this is an 18-inch miniature bat with a full-color, heat-transfer logo going to the mariners.
lemonis: and who makes the bat? scott: the amish and the mennonites. this is the basic item that's in every major-league stadium. it's in los angeles dodgers, it's in new york yankees -- in all 30 parks. lemonis: the reason i'm here is because scott has a relationship with major league baseball, and he's got his product in all the parks. quite frankly, i don't even know if louisville slugger is in all the parks. it's kind of a big deal. for me, i'm trying to understand the economics of everything, and so, a bat like this, for example -- what does this cost you? scott: including the royalties, about $1.15. lemonis: okay, and then what does it cost to add the logo onto it? scott: 20¢ at the highest level. lemonis: so, that's 95¢. and then how much are you paying mlb on a bat like this? scott: 12%, so 18¢. lemonis: and so 95¢ and 18 -- $1.13? scott: $1.13. lemonis: and what do you sell this thing for? scott: for around $1.50. lemonis: so you're making 37¢ on this bat. that's not great. scott: it's not. it's a terrible margin. lemonis: why do you paint these in house? scott: in case we run out of a certain color. lemonis: and what about the waste? scott: the waste is minimal -- probably $12,000. lemonis: waste in manufacturing
is when you create products that have mistakes on them, but the costs associated with those mistakes are sometimes hidden. and so, while scott tells me that the loss is $12,000, he's only counting the materials themselves. he's not factoring in labor, the lost time to buy the product -- a lot more than $12,000. if you're telling me that it's a $1.13, if i source this bat, logo already on, what's it cost? scott: 85¢. -lemonis: including the royalty? -scott: no. -lemonis: so it's only 10¢? -scott: maybe 10¢. lemonis: that's the difference? and how many bats a year? scott: 300,000. lemonis: there are two specific reasons that i want to bring in the bats already painted. one, i can save 10¢ per bat if we do it. across 300,000 bats, that's $30,000. in addition, the $12,000 in waste that it's costing the company per year. that's 42,000 reasons to not paint the bats in house. but this building has its challenges. scott: i inherited the building. my dad bought the building and the property and the business. lemonis: so, your dad started this company? scott: he bought the company.
lemonis: what kind of business was this when he bought it? scott: it was a handle-turning company -- tool handle -- and that was a very big business until power tools kind of put us out of the business. after owning the company for three or four years, we discovered the bat business as a result of the handle business because major league baseball players came here in the '50s to buy bats. at that point, we contacted major league baseball and told them the story. lemonis: so, you turned a tool-and-handle business into coopersburg sports. scott: coopersburg sports -- a baseball-bat manufacturer. lemonis: kind of a cool story. scott: it's a very cool story. lemonis: in order for a small business to be successful, it's gonna have to evolve and transform. and years ago, scott was able to do that when he turned a handle company into a baseball-bat company. but if he's not able to go through that same transformation again and come up with some new products, i don't know if he can make it. i'm fascinated by this because it doesn't look like a sticker heat-pressed. scott: we have an exclusive deal for the life of the patent to produce it on miniature baseball bats. lemonis: let's go see the rest of the place. scott: all these printers are hewlett-packard printers
that have been converted to print baseball bats. the printer thinks it's printing paper -- it's printing a bat. lemonis: you basically rigged this machine. scott: it's amazing. lemonis: how you doing? i'm marcus. dylan: good. how are you? dylan. -lemonis: nice to meet you. -dylan: nice to meet you. lemonis: is this done? dylan: yeah, that one's done. lemonis: is this the only product that you print this way? dylan: i mean, we've never printed really anything else on printers other than bats. lemonis: people like to buy products that are personal to them, whether it's their favorite sports team or family reunions or their favorite personality. and so anytime you can take a basic product and customize it, you're going to get a lot higher margin. and that's what's gonna make this company money in the long run. wendy: you have 300 boxes for 1,500 pennants. we're probably gonna lose about $10,000. jackie: this is the fifth time this has happened this week. scott: this is my daughter, jackie. jackie: i'll call them back. hi. nice to meet you. lemonis: hi, jackie. i'm marcus. nice to meet you. jackie: thank you so much for coming. lemonis: so, what do you do here? jackie: i was hired to mainly handle the collegiate market and sales, which i am doing on top of, like, [laughing] 30,000 different other things so... lemonis: and so why did you get spread so thin? jackie: i really wanted to take a lot of his plate 'cause i think that was the problem.
lemonis: he has too many hands in everything? jackie: yeah. lemonis: she's nicely just telling you that you've jacked things up around here, and she's putting law and order in place. jackie: it needed to happen, though. scott: she's helping me a lot. lemonis: what would be your biggest complaint? jackie: i hate having to chase my order all the time and wonder where it is. lemonis: from the inbound call to taking the order to the process, there's nothing that tracks that whole process? jackie: nope. scott: program we need is very expensive, and we can't afford to buy it. it's $30,000. lemonis: it's expensive, but you also can't afford to not have it because if you're not delivering on expectations, then you lose that customer. next question -- how do you track all this inventory? jackie: that's something i need to talk to you about. we have a problem. how did we not realize that we wouldn't have enough boxes to fulfill the order? lemonis: how many are you short? jackie: about 1,200. lemonis: if you don't have an order-tracking mechanism, customers either aren't gonna get their order filled, or they're gonna cancel it halfway through. it's a lost opportunity, and lost opportunity is lost money. scott: and this is how the bats come in from the mennonites, from the amish. some of the equipment, we gave them,
some they bought themselves. we actually taught them how to turn bats. lemonis: how much do you owe them? scott: about $25,000. lemonis: how much debt is on the company today? scott: right now, including our line of credit and our new term loan, we have about $700,000, and i'm out $800,000 -- my life savings, gone. lemonis: how much revenue will the business do this year? scott: hopefully a little over $2 million. lemonis: and how much will you cash flow positive? scott: probably about $40,000 to $50,000 at that level. lemonis: so how are you servicing the debt? $40,000? scott just told me that he has $700,000 of debt. that doesn't include his payables. and he does $2 million a year in revenue. problem is no profits. he only has $40,000 in working capital. and you can't service $700,000 of debt with $40,000 in working capital. at some point, you're gonna have a default, and things are gonna come crashing down. you know what? i have to tell you, i'm impressed by the fact that you have an mlb relationship.
but i'm concerned about the fact that you're relying solely on that. scott: we're only an mlb company. lemonis: so, right now, you're a seasonal business. have you had to lay people off? scott: we do it every year this time of year because we don't have that fourth-quarter item. lemonis: why haven't you fixed that seasonality? i mean, i'll tell you, the biggest challenge that you and i are gonna have is figuring out how to vary up this business model, or your lights are off. [ chuckles ] is this what you were talking about? this is your tracking system. it looks crazy. jackie: it's unfortunate. lemonis: how's working with your dad? jackie: me and my dad argue all the time. he can definitely be stuck in his ways. so many of our skus are bat items. i want us to be not so seasonal. i want definitely some new, more innovative products. he's been doing this for so long, that all these products, i feel like, are just sacred to him, and it's so hard to let go of that. and i get that. i mean, i know there's, like, an emotional tie to the products
that have put us through college. and you know what i mean? it's business, and you can't take it personally. you have to just move on. -scott: that's my wife, wendy. -lemonis: nice to meet you. i'm told you have a son that also is in the business? scott: that's benjamin back there. lemonis: ben? ben: hi, marcus. lemonis: how you doing? i'm marcus. -ben: nice to meet you. -lemonis: nice to meet you. and so, what's your role here? ben: i mainly help manage these guys in here, keep things moving. do a little bit of everything right now. lemonis: and where's your raw materials? ben: raw materials are in the warehouse. we run out to the warehouse, grab the raw materials, bring them in here, and we allow that to dry. and then they return to that room again. lemonis: that sounds kind of... ben: yeah, it's all over the place. that's what i want to change. lemonis: you know what i feel like when i'm in this building? like a mouse looking for his cheese. you start in one room, and you have to visit at least eight of those rooms to finish the product. this place is wildly inefficient. ben: there's not a flow.
lemonis: why doesn't your dad want to get it fixed? do you ever talk to him about it? ben: he's kind of just like, you know, stuck in his old ways. it's just how we've been doing it for 20-plus years. lemonis: right. how frustrating is that? ben: it's pretty frustrating. without having space to store things, you're just gonna be stepping over stuff. lemonis: there's stuff piled everywhere. these ceilings are so low, they couldn't even add the right inventory racks to maximize space. they don't even have a loading dock, so big orders, they have to be walked out of trucks. this facility's a mess, and in my opinion, it's also a fire hazard. why do you stay here? scott: i just don't think we can afford to move. lemonis: how much is it a month? scott: $1,300. lemonis: which is cheap. i'd rather you paid...$8,000, but the process was perfect and you didn't lose orders, and you didn't have materials go bad, and you kind of trip over dollars to pick up nickels. scott: that's what i need. cash-flow savings is what i'm looking for.
hello. lemonis: i thought maybe we could all chat a little bit about what do you guys have invested in this business? wendy: pretty much everything. scott: these kids lost their inheritance money that went in to cover payroll in times where we could've laid people off, and we kept them on. lemonis: do you financials? scott: i do. this is what my accountant and i had done based on this year's sales, okay? lemonis: how much money will the business lose this year? scott: we'll probably break even or lose a little bit if we don't do more than $2 million this year. lemonis: $285,000 is your total payables. scott: i mean, a third of it is seriously past due. lemonis: so, the bank loans are somewhere around $630,000. scott: mm-hmm. lemonis: and so, if i take the accounts payable and the bank loans, i'm pretty close to a million dollars. scott: $900,000-something, yeah. lemonis: we're drowning in debt right now. wendy: my kids and i, we all agree as a family he needs help. this might be it. lemonis: are the kids here now?
wendy: jackie? lemonis: business like this has to constantly evolve. and so, what we're talking about is kind of the number of issues that exist inside the business. jackie: i mean, just based off of our conversations at every dinner table, we're wearing too many hats, and we're involved in so many things. and i think that that's gonna, like, run us ragged after a while. lemonis: does he give you the opportunity to do your job fully? jackie: no. ben: that's the thing that bothers me the most. lemonis: 25 years ago, scott came in, and he saved this company. now scott needs to let his kids do for him what he did for his father. if it's okay with you guys, i'd like to spend a minute with your parents just alone if that's all right. -jackie: mm-hmm. -lemonis: thank you. scott: [ sighs ] lemonis: lot of stress. scott: i'm tired of it. lemonis: you okay, wendy? scott: [ sighs ]
wendy: [ voice breaking ] well, it's just highly unusual for him to talk this way. so, it really hurts. you know, it just -- it's scary to me because it really makes me realize something's really, really wrong. lemonis: i know that you put on a good face for your kids. scott: we need help. that's -- it was their idea to call you. lemonis: the kids' idea? scott: yeah. [ sighs ] lemonis: ready to get down to business? scott: believe me, i've been through so much i can handle anything. lemonis: the issues that i see right now is your process is totally broken. it's maybe one of the worst i've ever seen -- ever. product innovation -- we need new things because you can only sell so many bats in the world. scott: a mini bat will be around forever. lemonis: that's the base that pays the light bill. scott: well, we do have other things from minor league. we do the hands. lemonis: if you weren't selling your product in all the stadiums, i wouldn't be here. but in the long run, you can't make it just on mlb.
it's too seasonal. so, my offer is the following... ...$630,000 to build out a new warehouse, put the inventory systems in place, and then pay off all of the payables. for that, i would want to be 50/50 partners with you. scott: i mean, you're asking for 50% of my business. that's 30 years of my blood and sweat. you have to have more skin in the game. cowboy up. lemonis: what's gonna be my return on my investment in the first couple years? zero. that's too much risk for me. scott: if we put a half a million to a million dollars of sales on this business in the next year, we can turn this thing around. lemonis: but you need the $600,000 to do that. scott: i think -- here's the way i look at this. when a doctor wants to break into a practice, he buys his way in -- correct? -- to become a partner. lemonis: you're not interviewing me, i'm interviewing you. i'm not a bank, i'm not a consultant, and i'm not the fairy godmother. i don't just sprinkle money around. scott: i think that's a lot, marcus, for that amount.
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lemonis: i'm willing to lower my percentage. i'm not willing to put any more money in, and so $630,000 for 30% of the equity and financial control. i'm gonna want a 3% royalty on every product we sell. scott: forever, or until your debt is repaid? lemonis: forever. if the sales only go up to $2.5 million, my 3% royalty will be about $75,000 a year. with my investment being $630,000, that's a pretty nice annual return. but what they also have to realize is that i'm now motivated to drive those sales. the more we sell, the more we both make. i know how important this business is to you and your family. i also know how i want to get a return on my money. we got a deal? scott: we got a deal. thank you very much. i appreciate it. lemonis: so, i plan to take $150,000 to pay down debt,
$180,000 for past-due payables, $150,000 to build out a new facility, and $150,000 for working capital and product development. lemonis: got a lot of work to do. -scott: let's do it. -lemonis: we'll see you soon. -scott: thanks. appreciate it. lemonis: i wanted to let everybody know that the family and i have made a deal for $630,000. and while i've negotiated for 30% of the business, i'm gonna be 100% in charge. first of all, this is a great business. i believe in the people. what i don't believe in right now is the process. today, the system doesn't work. we need to have the right process not only to make the product, but to store the product. we're gonna go ahead and get a new facility 'cause this one doesn't work. woman: yeah. lemonis: this facility doesn't lay out right, and there's no way to even check the orders. literally, it looks like total chaos everywhere. i want to put an inventory system in place,
i want to put an accounting system in place, and what i'm worried about is the fact that we can't just be a baseball-bat company. we're gonna need new products. we're gonna use the technology and the resources we already have, whether it's the printers or whether it's the wood source we have. this company's been around since 1791, but in order for this company to be successful, they have to diversify. they can't just sell one product and have a relationship with one company. they have to do more. they have to expand their product line and be less baseball-centric. and they have to broker more licensing deals with other leagues and develop new relationships with other big retailers. we're gonna have new and innovative ideas. scott: seems a little daunting right now. we are heavily dependent on the baseball business. lemonis: i don't feel the need to swim upstream against louisville slugger. let's not compete with somebody that's the official baseball bat. we're not getting out of the baseball business. scott: right. lemonis: we're gonna try to be creative and innovative and look for new ways. are you guys excited?
-man: very excited. -woman: yeah. lemonis: okay, we got a lot of work to do. let's go. [ applause ] jackie: all right. thank you. lemonis: i wanted to meet the family at this facility that would be perfect for coopersburg sports. we need to move now. the layout at their current facility just doesn't work, and it's toxic, and we need to make the move to plan for the future. well, i'll tell you what i like the most -- i could actually breathe in here. [ jackie and ben chuckle ] and so, how i envision this, scott, is you'd have a sorting area, you'd have finished goods, and then they'd leave out the back -- so, in the front, out the back. scott: how many years are you thinking about? lemonis: five, but i'm gonna want the first year free. -i can tell you that. -jackie: is that normal? lemonis: is it normal? it is with me. [ laughter ] how you guys doing? i'm marcus. jerry: marcus, i'm jerry. lemonis: jerry, how are you? jerry: very good. nice to meet you. -jeff: jeff. -lemonis: nice to meet you. couple struggles that i have. i think the fact that it's not truly a total clear-span building changes things a little because your space layout now has to work around poles, and the way you move your forklift and your shelving changes for what we need it for.
how long's it been sitting empty? jerry: about two and a half to three years ago. lemonis: so, it's been a while. jerry: yeah. lemonis: what's the term you're looking for? jerry: for a five-year term on the lease. lemonis: so i'd be willing to start with a six-year term, then two more five options. and so i'm willing to pay you $8,000 a month in rent. but i would need that first year for free. the building's been sitting empty for three years, and so... jerry: six months of free rent? lemonis: go to nine, call it a day? nine months? we got a deal? jerry: we got a deal. lemonis: while moving to this facility may be more efficient, it also makes us more profitable. the difference in rent is about $80,400 a year. this company sells over 300,000 bats a year. if i'm able to buy 10 pallets instead of 1, instead of my bats costing me $1.15 a bat, they'll cost me 85¢ a bat. so, while my rent went up by $80,000, my gross went up $90,000, putting me $10,000 ahead. and that's just one product. but now comes the hard part. in order for this business to be successful,
i have to challenge the family -- mainly scott -- to come up with some new products. i'm nervous. the key to this is new products have to be developed. we got to get the products right, we got to get rid of the paint, we got to find other licenses -- we got a lot to do. that's the thing that's gonna keep me motivated and keep me excited. if i feel like you guys aren't delivering that, it's gonna freak me out. jackie: the stuff that isn't working, we just need to nix it. like, it's time. this bat-and-ball set -- ben: i think that's kind of a dying product. jackie: yeah, it's not selling. right now the latest trend is at-home tailgating for tailgating parties, and that could be in all sports. maybe some home decor. we could do a pizza tray, a wing tray, a salad bowl, little mini bowls. it's endless. ben: stretching outside just wooden bats is something that dad's not gonna be real receptive to. jackie: i think he's gonna be nervous. ben: i think dad has a problem letting go, whether it's been successful or not.
scott: i want to get marcus in here. he's afraid that our business is so focused on the mini bat. and as he said, toe-to-toe, we can't compete with louisville slugger. marcus, you got a minute? 'cause i'm a little bit upset, and i want to talk to you. there's something that you have to understand about our competition. you've got competition in your business. everybody does. lemonis: i'm suggesting that you don't double down and chase something that may look good today, but i want to be building the business for five years from now. jackie: you guys want to talk about new products -that we want to come up with? -lemonis: yeah. yes, please. jackie: i mean, is the point here that we're kind of, like, wanting to get away from the bats? scott: wait, i don't want marcus to take his focus off the bats right now. lemonis: i think chasing louisville slugger is like barking up a dead horse's ass. well, let's hear about these other ideas. now, are you in agreement that we need to have products outside of bats? jackie: absolutely. i need more products to sell. even on our collegiate catalogue, one of the entire pages is bat items, and baseball just isn't that big in college.
lemonis: okay. i don't know what scott's father was like, but he had to be a little reluctant, which is why his son, scott, had to come in and take it from a tool-handle business to a baseball-bat business. now that scott's kids are here, he needs to let them take the business to the next level, as well. i want to understand where the opportunity is. jackie: we just had an appointment with penn state, and they were extremely helpful. they gave us an entire list of needs. lemonis: 'cause that's the kind of research i want to know. jackie: lighters. they wanted coasters. we were thinking of looking into a football-shaped cutting board. lemonis: cups, mugs. since you guys are really driving all these new ideas, i want to see 20 ideas of things other than bats. scott: he wants to take the focus off the mini bat, and i don't agree. i've been doing this for 25 years. lemonis: for you to have this huge delusion that you're gonna beat louisville slugger in the long run, it's just dangerous. holy...scott. my money's not safe.
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lemonis: the fact that they were smart enough to come up with technology that differentiated themselves is one thing, but this technology can be used on other things in addition to bats. how versatile are these machines? as an example, if you wanted to print on this... ben: yeah, use this machines over here. scott: we can't just print anything on here. the printhead is set a certain height above the bat, so if we put something thicker in, it would hit it. -ben: but i can do that. -lemonis: let's try it. lemonis: this is for my edification so i can learn. while scott is usually the most optimistic, salesy person i've ever met, when it comes to trying new things in innovative ways, he's not. ben: check out how cool this thing looks. scott: did it cut through, ben, or just... ben: it's just taking the top layer of paint off. lemonis: you're really running two business models. business model one is here are the products that coopersburg is in, we have the licenses for. model number two is coopersburg embellishment takes other people's products and makes them better for a fee.
i like this one 'cause this is how i make money. ben: yeah, i like that idea. lemonis: today, i'm spending some time talking to scott about the importance of putting processes in place on his finances. in order to play with the big boys, you have to have working capital. what's your relationship like with your current bank? scott: we just switched banks recently. the previous relationship was not good. lemonis: you could find a bank that'll help you, it makes a big difference. you know, when i first started out, i started buying all these small businesses. my bank came to me and said, "look, how are you gonna manage the people from 1,000 miles away?" and so they put together a system that really allows for it, and it was chase. ink by chase is a credit card that allows you to manage and see expenses. for me, it's about visibility. scott: this is great because you're creating spending limits for people, rather than letting things get out of control. lemonis: in this organization, right, you have sales reps all over the place. and so it allows you to see, day-by-day, what are the reps spending. you can see account balances. you can know when your payment's due. we have to know how much money we have, what we're spending it on,
and keep track of our expenses at all times. and most importantly, as the business grows, you can manage the working capital to help it grow. and jackie pulled me aside to give me an update on the products i asked her to work on. jackie: we were thinking of doing higher end -- money clips, ashtrays, seat cushions. lemonis: i like these ideas. pull the ones out of here that either utilize woodworking or uses the technology we have to print on things, okay? jackie: okay. lemonis: while on a business trip to pittsburgh, i wanted to visit a few parks and talk to major league baseball. not only did i want to see the coopersburg sports product, but i wanted to see what other products we could expand into. after visiting a few parks and having a meeting with major league baseball,
i was disappointed about what i learned. scott, i have to tell you, i'm thrown off by learning that this bat isn't everywhere, and that's the reason i made a deal with you. you told me that you were in every single park, and here was your signature item. scott: we are in there. lemonis: yes, you had a competitor. we were gonna try to figure out how to beat him. but now i'm finding out that you're only in five or six parks. scott: we were in 30 parks, and we are in 30 parks, but we're in every park with something, but that item, we've lost a tremendous amount of business. this is the basic item that's in every major league stadium. it's in los angeles dodgers, it's in new york yankees -- in all 30 parks. lemonis: i didn't think i had to interrogate you specifically, but when you say to me, "we're in every single park, and this is the item we sell." my money's not safe. for you to have this huge delusion that you're gonna beat louisville slugger in the long run, it's just dangerous. holy...scott. i feel like you're hustling me. ben: sometimes i just don't know what to do. and to see him feel hopeless, it's...
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it's what lemonis: for you to have this huge delusion that you're gonna beat louisville slugger in the long run, it's just dangerous. holy...scott. the problem with scott is that he's in denial. he's not realistic about what trouble he's in. he's not realistic that he doesn't let jackie and ben do the things they need to.
in order for this business to move forward, he's got to come to grips with what is. does this company have the ability to do other things other than major league baseball? i don't want to be in anything that's not proprietary and that's not insulated. and this technology is the only insulated thing you have. how are you, sir? i'm marcus. jerry: i'm jerry weaver. nice to meet you. lemonis: hey, jerry. how are you? i wanted to take a drive to weaver woodworking in the heart of amish country to see where the bats are made. can we see the process, like, from here? jerry: sure can. lemonis: i want to do it. like this? scott: ...and over. like willy wonka's chocolate factory.
lemonis: the key is is that it's up to you to figure out what else you're gonna sell. weaver woodworking isn't just about seeing how the bats are made. it's finding out what else we can make there. these are some of the finest woodworkers on the planet. scott's got to clear his head and realize how coopersburg sports could better utilize this resource. what is this? why does this look like it's a leg for a table? jerry: it didn't get the ends trimmed off. lemonis: but i mean, it looks like it could be a stool. scott: there's an idea, yeah. lemonis: do you have any more of these? jerry: yeah. lemonis: and so, i mean, like, if we could somehow have, you know, a stool -- obviously, it has to be the right size and the right shape. then you essentially could put "yankees" or "red sox." scott: like a cocktail table? like a little cocktail table? lemonis: well, or a stool. what does one of these cost? jerry: $8, delivered to his door. lemonis: each baseball bat costs $8 in raw materials and another $4 each to actually turn them. that's $48 for the four legs.
and add another $20 for the top. that's a total of $68. a licensed, handcrafted, customized stool like this could sell for as much as $200. that's over 100% margin. ben: yeah, you could make a bedroom set for a little kid. i mean, you can do a whole line like that. lemonis: ben is just so much more open to new ideas and looking to the future. i wonder, if he actually had scott's full support, what the future may hold. these are good people. ben: mm-hmm, yeah. lemonis: and they've put a lot on the line for you guys. ben: this is where it all starts. lemonis: do you think your dad's willing to change? ben: yeah, at this point, it's a massive amount of stress that's been going on for too long. sometimes i just don't know what to do. lemonis: did you know this? scott: lot of sleepless nights. it reflects on everybody. it reflects on him, on his mom. they try to take the load off of me, and then that makes me feel worse, i think. you know, it raises my guilt level more. you know, i started this out of nothing. this was an idea. when i went to major league baseball, they wouldn't give me a license.
they said, "go away, kid." i was 23 years old. and i kept at them. i was being the salesman, and i kept at them, and i kept at them. and after probably a year, they finally said, "what will it take to make you go away?" and i said, "give me a license," and they did. that's how it all started -- persistence. that's one of my best qualities. i never wanted to quit or give up anything, and i really feel like this is one of the toughest things i've ever gone through in my life. lemonis: the guilt -- why do you feel guilty? scott: i don't know why. i shouldn't. [ voice breaking ] you know, he's seen me, as a kid, work 12 hours a day. when they were little, i'd come home to cold dinners. my wife would be playing with the kids, and i'd miss it all. but i was building a business. [ sniffles ] ben: and to see him feel hopeless, it's... it's hard for me. it's not the first time i've seen it. it's difficult. scott: [ sighs ]
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you are not a failure. scott: well, i want to stop feeling that way. lemonis: well, that's why i'm here. scott: and i probably hung on too long to some of the things you've talked about and not reacted quickly enough, thinking somehow i can fix it. and sometimes, certain things you can't fix. lemonis: the only thing that you're guilty of is just not being able to handle the curve ball -- no pun intended. and now you're at a fresh place, and you do need to reset. scott: yep. lemonis: i feel like i always struggled just scratching the surface with scott. i never feel like he's real and open with me... until now. scott: appreciate it. lemonis: okay, buddy. -all right? -ben: yeah. lemonis: your task is to come up with some new stuff. this could be a great staple for us. scott: 'cause we have the foundation. we have the product. lemonis: okay? scott: okay, and thanks. [ cow lows ]
lemonis: i'm back in pennsylvania, and the family's come up with prototypes for about 15 new products. hey, guys. -jackie: how are you? -lemonis: good. i'm excited to see what they've come up with. how cool is this? scott: that's the whole package. how you been? -lemonis: how are you, buddy. -scott: good to see you. -jackie: how was new york? -lemonis: it was good. lemonis: how are you? this display looks nice. -scott: isn't it nice? -lemonis: really nice. scott: that's our typical trade-show setup. lemonis: i love it. scott: this is my favorite. isn't it cool? it's a little bat rack for your toothbrush. you could put any toothbrush in there, but that's the concept. i think it turned out so cute. bed bath & beyond will definitely carry that. lemonis: that's a no-brainer. scott: and there's the stool. that's new. what do you think? lemonis: love it. this looks awesome. scott: pretty neat? everyone seems to love that. lemonis: and i like what you did here. scott: it looks more wood, authentic, i think, yeah. you like it? lemonis: yeah. this stuff came out great. scott: so, jackie, why don't you explain the kitchenware. jackie: "homegating" is like a big thing that's really in right now, so we're trademarking the name to basically be our homegate, like, a party-ware line -- at-home tailgating. that's, like, really hot right now.
so, we're keeping it all wood. lemonis: this is awesome. it looks really good. honestly, i think it all looks really good. jackie: yay! i'm so excited! lemonis: today's an exciting day. we're starting construction on the new space, and i took scott to check out the progress on the new facility. jerry: how you doing? lemonis: good to see you. it looks good. scott: amazing, isn't it? no, it's gonna be great. it's gonna turn out nice. lemonis: it's gonna take a few more months for everything to be completed here. so, my goal is to establish new accounts and eliminate the seasonality. i've scheduled a meeting for scott and the family to pitch their new ideas to a friend of mine, johnny morris, who owns bass pro shops. and more importantly, i want to see if scott
can let jackie and ben finally take the lead. when you think hunting and fishing and outdoor, this is the real deal. when we first met, i told you that i did not want you to be a baseball-bat company only anymore. i rarely like to mix personal relationships and business, and johnny morris, the owner of bass pro, is a friend of mine. and so i don't want to put any pressure on you, but i cannot have you mess this up. -'cause this is a game changer. -scott: this is it. i think they're gonna like what we have to show them. lemonis: so, let's go inside. all right. i wish you guys luck. jackie: this is crazy. lemonis: i want to take them inside of the bass pro shops. i want them to understand the magnitude of not only this business, but the opportunity. isn't that awesome? you can go fishing. this account is important in forcing the development of new products, and it eliminates the risk of seasonality in our business. wendy: okay, good luck, guys. lemonis: today we're meeting with kelly, one of the buyers for bass pro shops,
and jim, the store manager. jackie: thank you guys so much for making time to meet with us today. we're really excited to be here. scott: i want to tell you briefly a little bit about us. we're family-owned-and-operated, one of the oldest woodworkers in america. our history goes back to 1791, which is pretty interesting. in 1991, we became a licensee with major league baseball, and now, with marcus' help and his partnership, we've kind of morphed and evolved into a full-line wood-products company. and the purpose of our visit today is to show you what we do and what we can do with the existing technology that we've got. yeah, that is what sets us apart. some of this technology is very, very unique, and it's patented, and it's not on the market today right now. so, i think i'd like to start with, for example, this is what you call a "fish whacker," okay? jackie: [ chuckles ] jim: as a fisherman, to me, that... that would seem kind of big. -scott: too big. jim: and it would be clunky. scott: okay. we do a lot of ponchos -- container loads, hundreds of thousands of ponchos in our other business.
lemonis: so far, it doesn't look like bass pro is responding to anything that we're pitching. it's definitely not looking good. jim: as far as having -- i would have something like that as an emergency. if i'm going out hunting or fishing, and i know it's gonna rain, i'm not gonna wear a poncho. kelly: yeah, i... it doesn't make sense to me. more "stay" per roll. more "sit" per roll. more "who's training who" per roll.
jim: those -- like i said before -- if i'm going out hunting or fishing, and i know it's gonna rain, i'm not gonna wear a poncho, personally. yeah, i... it doesn't make sense to me. lemonis: how about this stuff here? why don't we keep going? scott: this is a coat rack that we actually fashioned out of the shape of a bass. jim: it has broader applications. kelly: i think that's a great idea. jim: i do like the knife. i'm thinking downstairs there are fillet knives with a wooden handle on it. ben: is there anything on the wooden handle right now? is it just blank? -jim: it's blank, yeah. -scott: so, possibly brand. kelly: in general, the logo aspect is what appeals to me. lemonis: personalization. kelly: exactly. jackie: and something i'm kind of interested in learning is what are your needs, like, as a company? i know there's a trending female presence. it's not just males.
like, i kind of want to learn a little bit more about your demographic. kelly: our demographic is -- it's very broad. and that women demographic is definitely growing significantly. scott: this is what we call "homegating." it's a very popular trend now. jackie can explain to you what we do here. jackie: basically, a big trend in sports licensing would be at-home tailgating, people gathering together, the family coming around. i just feel like the natural look of this appeals to the bass pro customer, and it's kind of more of a high-end look, as well. the quality is just outstanding, so i think that's an item that would sell very well. kelly: promoting our brands is very important. ben: you're talking about branding anything, like, this is things we can do at our factory, so... kelly: what's the lead time on something like that? ben: probably do that easily within 30 days. kelly: i like this a lot just because i think it does appeal to that female customer. jim: i think something like that can be merchandised in a lot of places, too. it could go in multiple areas of the building.
kelly: i don't know of anything like this that we're currently offering. lemonis: seems like we have some winners. kelly: absolutely. i think there's a lot of opportunity here. i think you guys did a good job. lemonis: well, listen, i appreciate you guys taking this meeting and taking the time. -jim: yes. -kelly: definitely. lemonis: i'm really excited that scott is giving jackie and ben an opportunity to shine. well, what'd you think? scott: i think we did great. lemonis: i think you did really well. jackie and ben, i thought you guys did a great job. and what i liked most about what you did -- you let them do their thing. we had that talk in the parking lot at weaver, and i don't know if they heard it or not. scott: i don't think so. lemonis: but i think that scott felt in that moment that he let you guys down, and that he was a failure, and we talked about it. i think you've proved as the leader that by no stretch of the imagination, in any universe, were you ever a failure. i think this is just an example of things to come. this is one meeting, one day. this could be a million-dollar account, no problem. jackie: that's what he's most excited about. i'm so grateful that you picked our company,
and i just am excited to see where it goes from here. lemonis: i look forward to that partnership. scott: we appreciate everything. we really do. lemonis: i look forward to it. scott: thanks, man. this is the shark tank, where hopeful entrepreneurs get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to pitch the sharks in hopes of getting an investment to start, grow, or save their businesses. so how many have you been selling? i've sold about $2,500 worth. you've sold dozens of them. the entrepreneurs must convince a shark to invest the full amount they're asking for... come on, mr. cuban. (chuckles) or they'll walk away with nothing. i think i'm coming down with a fever 'cause i just saw a dog go by with a bow tie on. (chuckles) (robert laughs) oh, my god. i love the dog. if the sharks hear a great idea, they're ready to invest, using their own money. $1 million for 30%. i forbid you to proceed. and they're willing to fight each other for a piece of the action. okay, i'm gonna make you an offer.